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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 19, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas HeraldZeltung g Wednesday November o I HOUSTON AP A new law designed ib make it easier for Texans to borrow against die equity in their homes is creating competition among banks and causing concern among industry experts Lenders are actively seeking potential borrowers weeks before home equity loans become available Jan according to the Texas Journal of The Wall Street Journal And theyre offering some seriously competitive packages NationsBank Texas the states biggest bank is offering its approved homeequity loan applicants an extra unsecured loan of up to available immediately with a lower interest rate Money Store a New Jersey mortgage company is promising up to 125 of a borrowers equity its Planb Laredo among fastest growing cities in nation San Antonio ranks eighth biggest By MICHELLE MrTTELSTAOT Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON Two Texas cities one a vibrant conduit for growing trade the other a business mecca on the outskirts of Dallas are among the fastest growing communities in the United States the Census Bureau says Pianos 50 percent growth from 1990 to 1996 was the fifthfastest growth rate in the United States in rankings of cities with over residents Laredo wasnt far behind snagging the eighthfastest growth rate with a 34 percent population gain during the same period San Antonio meanwhile was one of only two cities rising above the 1 million mark in population during the sixyear period along with Phoenix That grbwth has allowed San Antonio to climb the ranks of biggest cities trading its 10th place for 8th The Alamo Citys gain was Dallas loss Dallas slipped from eighthlargest city in the United States to ninth reporting a percent growth rate during the sixyear Houston retains its rank as the nations fourthlargest city Climbing in population rankings were ElTaso from 22nd to 17th Austin from 26th to 22nd Fort Worth from 29th to 28th Arlington from 61st to 56th and Corpus Christi from 64th to 59th Just a short drive north from civic leaders were rubbing their hands with glee over their ranking Were real proud of said assistant city manager Elvenn Richardson Were just really In recent years FritoLay Penney and other major corporations have moved their corporate headquarters to Piano Richardson noted He cited quality schools a probusiness climate and an awardwinning parks and recreation department among the factors responsible for Pianos boom As for the growth ranking issued Tuesday Richardson said It helps us with our economic development It also helps us in attracting new citizens to the area It sparks an interest to come and see what it is that Piano is Laredo which just a few years ago boasted the secondfastest growth rate in the nation owes its boom to an enviable geographic location ialdng the border and the fact that 135 a major trade corridor has its origins in Laredo said Chamber of Commerce president Miguel Conchas matter of geography and the fact that weve been able to capitalize on Conchas said Laredo is the borders busiest commercial crossing point accounting for more than 30 percent of the economic traffic between the United States and Mexico And with trade between the two NAFTA partners growing business interests have been giving Laredo a second glance Conchas said Two other Texas border cities were among the top 25 nationally in growth Brownsville at No 13 with slightly more than a 23 percent population boom and 16 With a 3 percent gain customerservice agents say But theres a catch the portionabove 80 of equity would be unsecured The hew law is sure to be tested by people who are looking to gobble up as much of this business as said Keith Gumbinger a vice president of HSH Associates a Butler lendihg market research firm I Its going to be a wild and woolly world down there for a Thats exactly what industry watchdogs fear Theyre concerned banks are twisting the law as they fight for a piece of the projected billion market By extending incentives that lawmakers didnt plan they argue lenders could be encouraging Texans to get into credit trouble I think this is just a real ways to offer home equity loans cautionary before this thing becomes said Leslie Pettijohn head of the Texts Credit I Commission With no Texas experience to fall back on she said its Hard even for her office to be certain whats legal and whafs not The day after Texans passed the home equity measure by a 60percent vote state Attorney General Dan Morales issued a statement to banks explaining when they can start taking applications from homeowners and when they can begin loaning money NationsBank says its loan offer functions separately from its home equity loan and therefore is legal We are not going to do anything that goes against the spirit of the says Chuck Baynard executive vice president for consumer banking for NationsBank Charlotte closing fees or to match ONationsBank Other lenders are offering to waive lowest interest rates Barrientos fund for girl AUSTIN AP The story of a 9 yearold girl found in a ratinfested home last month has shocked and inspired state Sen Gflnzalo Barrientos and 10 friends Barrientos announced Monday that the group which includes Lady Longhorns coach Jody Conradt has set up a trust fund named after the girl Victoria Barr to help pay for treatment If people respond as generously as we hope the Victoria Fund may be able to provide professional care education and assistance to Victoria that go beyond the level of help of government may be able to provide said Barrientos DAustin Victoria was removed from the home she shared with her mother grandmother and uncle on Oct 20 and is now in foster care When she was removed caseworkers discovered that she could not speak and had never been to school And according to her court appointed attorney Richard LaVallo she had difficulty wearing clothing she wasnt toilet trained she had difficulty going through doors or getting in Lawyer Victims exhusband not responsible for death ANTONFO AP Allen Blackthorne is not responsible for the death of Sheila a prominent San Antonio criminal defense lawyer says Roy Barrera told The San Antonio ExpressNews Tuesday that Blackthorne is a friend and golfing partner of the two men accused of conspiring to have his exwife murdered We do not contest what has been reported about them being friends or playing golf Barrera said of Blackthorne and Daniel Alex Rocha 29 and Samuel Gonzales 27 The sooner this matter is brought to a conclusion the better and I mean as soon as we are vindicated for having no responsibility in the death of this Barrera told the newspaper Soldiers to be used to help Border Patrol SAN ANTONIO AP The Army will help the Border Patrol hunt down drug traffickers by upgrading dirt roads constructing helipads and building a wooden observation deck near the Rio Grande a military spokeswoman says Spokeswoman Maureen Bossch said Tuesday the project is scheduled to start in January and will be the largest of two military construction projects along the Rip Grande and will involve 350 soldiers I JBecorating NEED A NEW LOOK FOR THE HOLIDAYS I can work with what you have or assist you In furniture selections floor coverings window treatments and accessories at discount prices for your home or office 20 yfs Design Experience Can Ruby 830 9072224 Football Contest ITS EAST TO BE A WINNER The football Contest page appears each Tuesday Pick the teams you think will win and send it in Then read the sports page on Wednesday to see you are a winner Weekly winners and a grand prize winner See the contest page for complete details New Braunfels HeraldZeitung on your side For Auto Life Home and all your insurance needs Dave Howell KMart Plata 1050IH 35 East Suite 500 New Braunfels 6204224 NATIONWIDE INSURANCE Nationwide on your KillMMu liOfilSL AMERICAN HOME LOANS FULL SERVICE LENDER 100 FINANCING Down Payment Lot It Loans Past Credit Probicnu OK Home Improvement 135 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